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Beads of Courage -- Discussion for all things Beads of Courage; the only not-for-profit, arts-in-medicine program putting to use the talents of glass beadmakers to uplift children dealing with life threatening illnesses, their families and the people who care for them. Families, clinicians and artists alike are welcome to join in! (Thank you to Lampwork Etc. for supporting Beads of Courage and helping to foster communication!) PHOTOS OF INDIVIDUALS OR CHILDREN ONLY ALLOWED WITH THEIR SPECIFIC CONSENT.

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  #1  
Old 2010-01-26, 5:38am
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Default What metal to wire wrap with?

What metal is everyone using to wire wrap with?

I was doing really well sending in my donations until I read that the hearts needed to be wire-wrapped. As is typical with me, it stopped me dead in my tracks. (internal voices saying "You won't use the right stuff, you won do it nice enough", etc etc.)

Anyone?
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Old 2010-01-26, 9:26am
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Oh no. The hearts don't need to be wire wrapped! I'll go look for that info. Either do the butterflies. But they hold shouldrun vertically in the butterflies so they *can* be wire wrapped. Some people like to provide them already wire wrapped.

Please, send whatever you make. Vertical hole hearts *can* be wire-wrapped and worn as a pendant but horizontal holes are fine too!
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Old 2010-01-26, 10:09am
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I wire-wrap my butterflies with sterling silver headpins and Swarvoski crystals, if that helps. But they have a vertical hole, and I want to send them in ready to give.

All of your work is lovely, Debbie, hush that internal voice.
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Here's a group of mine ready to go out.

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Last edited by NLC Beads; 2010-01-26 at 10:38am. Reason: Added sample picture
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Old 2010-01-26, 10:29am
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Sending them ready to give is great if you can manage it. We don't have a large staff to handle this when the hearts and butterflies come in, so pre-done is easier on our end. I've been using German Silver wire, silver beads and crystals on the butterflies and hearts that cross my bench (I get a lot of them passed on to me from local bead makers) so that they arrive on site ready to go out.

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Here's how I typically wire wrap a butterfly bead.

Robert
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  #5  
Old 2010-01-26, 11:01am
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Robert, how do you make your flat butterfly, if I may ask? It lovely.

Lisa
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Old 2010-01-26, 11:10am
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It's a copper enamel process. There is a short tutorial on it on the BoC site and a full tutorial with lots of photos coming out in the next Bead Release. It's really fairly easy to do and much more sturdy than many sculptural pieces.
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Robert
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  #7  
Old 2010-01-26, 12:23pm
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Robert, what exactly is "German silver" and where do you get it? I've never heard that term before!

Thanks for anticipated info!
Lea
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Last edited by Lea Zinke; 2010-01-26 at 12:24pm. Reason: Asking for source info as well!
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Old 2010-01-26, 12:51pm
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It's a jewelry wire that has a lower silver content than Sterling, usually around 60%. It's alloyed with copper and often zinc, sometimes nickel. Sometimes called nickel silver. It's harder than Sterling, less expensive and tarnish resistant. Sterling is great for this if you can afford it these days.

Nickel is the metal that some might question and it can cause skin problems for some people if they have a lot of contact with it. I'd never consider it for things like earrings, bracelets, etc. that have a lot of skin contact. The 1/2mm edge of the hanger loop is the only part that is likely to make any contact and that's usually with clothing so I think it's OK. Nobody has had any problems that I know of. Sterling just got too expensive for the volume of beads that I end up wire wrapping. I get a lot of butterflies and hearts and only rarely are they already wire wrapped. The folks in Tucson really aren't set up to do a lot of that, so I always set them up for wear before I send them out.

Robert

Last edited by RSimmons; 2010-01-26 at 1:55pm. Reason: Clarification of a point
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Old 2010-01-26, 1:59pm
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Gotcha, Robert, thanks for explanation -- where do you find it? Sounds like a great replacement for more costly sterling, you're right!

Thanks,
Lea
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Old 2010-01-26, 2:20pm
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Most jewelry supply stores carry it. I bought a bunch of it in Tucson a while back - I'll have to check around the studio to see if I still have the vendor/manufacturer information.

Robert
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Old 2010-01-26, 2:27pm
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Quote:
It's a copper enamel process. There is a short tutorial on it on the BoC site and a full tutorial with lots of photos coming out in the next Bead Release. It's really fairly easy to do and much more sturdy than many sculptural pieces.
Thanks
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Would you post the link please - I could not find it. I just went and bought a butterfly punch so I am ready to go.
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Old 2010-01-26, 2:40pm
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It looks like the update with the links to the tutorials hasn't been finished yet. The new site is taking a little time to get fully operational after the server change.

Robert
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Old 2010-01-26, 3:03pm
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Any chance you could post the tutorial here on LE?
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Old 2010-01-26, 4:48pm
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With the full publication coming out it might be a bit dodgy to post it here right now. I think the full tutorial should be out very soon. Maybe the BoC web site will catch up quickly.

robert
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Old 2010-01-26, 5:01pm
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Robert, do we still have the explanation up on the Southern Flames website, or did you have to pull it for publication?

I'm teaching (students are doing their in-class writing) but I could sketch out an answer sometime tomorrow, from the demo Robert gave us, if and only if Robert thinks that will be okay. That way you could get started but Robert hasn't violated his contract. If it is better just to wait, that's fine, too.
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Old 2010-01-26, 6:05pm
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I buy sterling silver plated copper wire at rings-things dot com - no lead and no nickel
It's stiffer than sterling and holds it's shape really nice for wire-work and it doesn't peel or lose it's silver and the best part ... it is not expensive.
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Old 2010-01-26, 6:43pm
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Quote:
I buy sterling silver plated copper wire at rings-things dot com - no lead and no nickel
It's stiffer than sterling and holds it's shape really nice for wire-work and it doesn't peel or lose it's silver and the best part ... it is not expensive.
This looks like an ideal material for the special beads. thanks for posting this.

Andrea - I'd forgotten about the Southern Flames link for the copper enamel butterfly. It's a reduced tutorial, but should get people started.


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Old 2010-01-26, 7:04pm
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Awesome - can't wait to try it. I will probably have my holes going horizontally - is that OK?

(Anything to avoid wire wrapping!)


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Old 2010-01-27, 6:14am
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I normally use sterling silver head pins but I buy them in bulk or make my own from sterling silver wire.
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Old 2010-01-27, 8:29am
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Quote:
Awesome - can't wait to try it. I will probably have my holes going horizontally - is that OK?

(Anything to avoid wire wrapping!)


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Check your PM.

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Old 2010-01-27, 3:05pm
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Hi Again.

I just got the pdf tutorials by Robert up on the site. To access them you can go here:


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Old 2010-01-27, 3:49pm
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Thanks Lori, I know it's been a lot of work and the new site is coming along nicely.

Robert
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Old 2010-02-02, 10:33am
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I just noticed that beads with the gold decal butterflies are acceptable! I've worked a lot with the good decals. I'll have to make some hearts with butterflys (I think I even have a sheet of them)! That is such a great idea!
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Old 2010-02-07, 2:36pm
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Nikki, I have some veiled cane here collecting dust. What a great idea for BOC butterflies. thanks I'm stealing your idea.
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Old 2010-02-07, 5:03pm
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Nikki, I have some veiled cane here collecting dust. What a great idea for BOC butterflies. thanks I'm stealing your idea.
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Steal away - It's the first version of a butterfly bead that I felt was "good enough" to send in... I'm all for as many people making them as possible. I'll see if Brian can take photos tonight for a tutorial, but think sturdy first, then pretty.
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